The first eating contest on record may be the one between the Norse god Loki and Logi. Traveling with Thor, Loki arrives at the castle of Útgarða-Loki and they are told they can stay only if they prove themselves by performing a feat… Immediately, Loki claims he can eat faster than anybody. A trencher is placed between him and his competitor, Logi, and the two consume all of the meat until they ‘meet’ in the middle. Loki has consumed all the meat that is placed in front of him upon a trencher. Logi, however, has consumed not just the meat, but the bones. And the trencher.
Okay. Logi may have had an advantage. He was the personification of wildfire.
And why am I telling you all of this?
Because the next Lofts of Merchants Row Resident Event involves an eating contest. A Blazin’ Wings (as in blazing hot, whichogi would certainly appreciate) eating contest.
Eating contests have long played a role in events where friends and neighbors get together. Since the 1800s, eating contests (specifically pie-eating contests) have been popular at county fairs. County fairs that provided communities with the chance to enjoy a break from the daily grind and allowed their members the chance to socialize with one another.
And that is what The Lofts of Merchants Row Resident Events ultimately do as well: give us the chance to unwind, catch up with the people we already know from the building, and connect with new neighbors…who often become new friends.
This month’s event is going to be at the Detroit Buffalo Wild Wings, which is the nation’s largest Buffalo Wild Wings, with 95 HDTV screens inside the 12,000 square foot renovated building just a block away from The Lofts of Merchants Row. This is, of course, an incredibly appropriate place to meet during March Madness, as the Sweet Sixteen are winnowed down to (or weeded out of) the Elite Eight. But with so many great venues Downtown to meet up with friends and unwind, our Event Coordinators find close-by places that are convenient and fun for us to get together at every month.
If you’ve lived in Detroit for awhile, like I have, it’s a great evening spent at the places I’ve been going to for years. If you’re new to Detroit, it’s a great opportunity to discover all of the excellent eateries, bars, and entertainment venues that are within walking distance of your new Detroit loft…
And this, the constant crop of new places to check out and plenitude of old favorites to visit, ultimately makes Detroit quite a bit like the rural communities that originated the county fair: it’s a place where people feel a connection to one another, look forward to running into one another, and are always willing to lend a hand when help is needed. You don’t necessarily do the same thing as your neighbors and friends, or have the same exact interests, but like Loki and Logi, you find you meet in the middle. Fine. You generally don’t see anyone eat their plate, and, no, it’s not the same as haymaking and crop-harvesting…but I can’t tell you how many neighbors, and even people I don’t know who just happen to be walking down the street, have offered to help me carrying in my groceries.
It’s a good feeling.
One that also has a history in Detroit. In 1849. the first Michigan State Fair, designed to bring together rural agriculture and urban industry (another meeting in the middle), was held in Detroit. It was only the second State Fair in the U.S., and people from all over Michigan came to Detroit to share and experience a sense of community and to discover something new.
And people are still coming to Detroit today for the same experience. Well, the same experience minus the ‘Husband-Calling Competition,’ which not an E-Harmony ‘matching’ contest, but rather exactly what it sounds like. Who can holler the loudest for their husband. Okay. That is one thing I have never seen while living Downtown.
Instead, I’ve seen historic buildings restored and renovated, new businesses move in, Broadway shows and sold-out concerts. I’ve seen Lions and Tigers (and Wings). I’ve seen the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—from my window, not on TV. I’ve seen a President speak, just blocks from my house.
And I’ve seen friends. Everywhere I go. Sometimes it’s an unplanned thing—and they’re just people I meet on any given Tuesday. Sometimes, like this Thursday, it’s a planned thing.
Other than the sense of community—and the constant opportunity for discovery and the chance to have fun—it’s never the ‘same old thing’ living Downtown.
Which brings me back to where I started. Loki, like our city, was a shape-shifter. A powerful one.
And you pretty quickly realize when you live Downtown, that Detroit can be whatever you make it. Now that is a ‘contest’ where everyone wins.
***Join your Friends & Neighbors at Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday, March 27th, from 6 until 8 p.m.. For more information or to RSVP for the Blazin’ Wing Challenge call 313.962.2940 or stop by the Leasing Office!